The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay. - Page 2 - Business - Contractor Talk

The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-16-2014, 11:44 AM   #21
Shingler extraordinaire
 
A&E Exteriors's Avatar
 
Trade: Roofing, Decks, Siding, & Additions
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 9,146
Rewards Points: 15,362

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Inner10 View Post

4 grand doesn't get you much lawyer time, harass the hell out of the guy and lien his property immediately.
Do the mail trick....mail his neighbor the past due bill....write past due on the envelope in red sharpie
A&E Exteriors is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to A&E Exteriors For This Useful Post:
Metro M & L (03-16-2014)

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 03-16-2014, 11:45 AM   #22
GC/carpenter
 
Calidecks's Avatar
 
Trade: Decking, Railing, Carpenter/General Contractor
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Anaheim Hills, California (OC)
Posts: 40,012
Rewards Points: 10,098

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


Is it possible to include all the charges it cost to collect the money in the lien? Lien charges, etc.
Calidecks is online now  
Old 03-16-2014, 11:54 AM   #23
Geometrist

 
Warren's Avatar
 
Trade: framing/remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 10,364
Rewards Points: 448

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


I had to go to court once to get ten grand. This was about 15 years ago, The lawyer cost me about 2 thousand, and we ended up settling just before court. The homeowner knows that for 4 grand, a lawyer will not be fully engaged in this. I suggest doing the lien yourself, and filing in small claims court.
Warren is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Warren For This Useful Post:
Kent Whitten (03-16-2014)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-16-2014, 12:40 PM   #24
Pro
 
SSC's Avatar
 
Trade: Interior Remodeling Specialists
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 1,273
Rewards Points: 500

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


One of the many things Ive learned on this site is to make sure you keep a record of everything. Start saving the email conversations and email him that hes late and bill is due now. If he threatened to bash you on angies list save and print that out. Judge might see that as a threat to your business and side easily with you.


Do you have a contract?
__________________

The Finest in Interior Renovations
SSC is offline  
Old 03-16-2014, 12:49 PM   #25
Head sawdust creator
 
Bummie's Avatar
 
Trade: Jack of All.... Master of a Couple
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada ..... Eh!!!
Posts: 1,125
Rewards Points: 1,038

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


Document everything. Keep all correspondence. Lein his property.. most times the mortgage holder will get pissed when they see a lien and pressure owner to get it off!! Get a lawyer to send him a letter. Take him to small claims court on your own. Bring all documentation!! Did you have a contract?? If you are really lucky you will break even!! Don't put too much faith in the legal system, you will be disappointed!!

Good luck!! This is from past experience.
__________________
"Whether you think you can or think you can't.... you are right!!!" Henry Ford
Bummie is offline  
Old 03-16-2014, 04:55 PM   #26
Pro
 
instock's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 305
Rewards Points: 525

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


Quote:
Originally Posted by A&E Exteriors View Post
Do the mail trick....mail his neighbor the past due bill....write past due on the envelope in red sharpie
That only works on people who are embarrassed by not paying their bills. Some people are just shameless.

Get some check printing software. Borrow his account info off his deposit check. Forge his signature and write yourself a check. If anybody asks, you just got his check in the mail and didn't think anything of it. If he wants to fight it, he is in the awkward position of demanding everybody believe he is an a-hole.

Or, just make "donations" to your favorite charities in his name. It doesn't really help YOU out, but just imagine him trying to demand money back from puppies, starving kids in Africa, and Jehova's Witnesses.

For entertainment purposes only. Do not try this at home.
instock is offline  
Old 03-16-2014, 05:04 PM   #27
The Duke
 
Kent Whitten's Avatar
 
Trade: Cabinet Maker
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Portland, Maine
Posts: 14,746
Rewards Points: 2,040

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


I hope you are just kidding. That is about the worst advice you can give.
__________________
If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place ~Lao Tzu

SalmonFallsCabinetry.com

Salmon Falls Cabinetry on Facebook
Kent Whitten is offline  
Old 03-16-2014, 05:16 PM   #28
Pro
 
instock's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 305
Rewards Points: 525

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Whitten View Post
I hope you are just kidding. That is about the worst advice you can give.
Of course. You can't run a business like that! I'm just poking fun at the ineffectiveness of the system.
instock is offline  
Old 03-16-2014, 05:17 PM   #29
Livin the dream...
 
Spencer's Avatar
 
Trade: Finish Carpentry
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,624
Rewards Points: 5,514

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


Did I miss that you had a contract? If you don't the whole thing is really your fault because the timeframe should have been in the contract. Probably shouldn't have been letting the HO get materials in a situation like that.

How much time are you going to have invested in fighting? I'd let them know that they are bottom dwelling scum suckers. Tell them to never call you again and go back to making money.

I'd learn the lesson, move on, and stop working for that caliber of people. If I didn't know the people well enough to know that they would never screw me over I'd never let them get 4k over my head.

As someone else said, use payment scheduling to make sure they can't screw you enough to make it hurt. Hard lesson. Take it on the chin and move on. The world is full of a holes.

Others will think this way of handling it is stupid but this is what I would do.
__________________
Lewis Carpentry
Spencer is offline  
Old 03-16-2014, 06:47 PM   #30
Contractor of the Month
 
Inner10's Avatar
 
Trade: Control Systems
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 26,075
Rewards Points: 5,076

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
Did I miss that you had a contract? If you don't the whole thing is really your fault because the timeframe should have been in the contract. Probably shouldn't have been letting the HO get materials in a situation like that.

How much time are you going to have invested in fighting? I'd let them know that they are bottom dwelling scum suckers. Tell them to never call you again and go back to making money.

I'd learn the lesson, move on, and stop working for that caliber of people. If I didn't know the people well enough to know that they would never screw me over I'd never let them get 4k over my head.

As someone else said, use payment scheduling to make sure they can't screw you enough to make it hurt. Hard lesson. Take it on the chin and move on. The world is full of a holes.

Others will think this way of handling it is stupid but this is what I would do.
The world isn't full of aholes, they are very few and far between. It's just the few that you have to encounter in your life that ruin your trust in everyone else. 90 percent of your problems come from 10 percent of your clients.
__________________
The Following User Says Thank You to Inner10 For This Useful Post: Leo G
Inner10 is offline  
Old 03-16-2014, 08:35 PM   #31
Pro
 
KAP's Avatar
 
Trade: Custom
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 12,313
Rewards Points: 40,184

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


I would have looked at him and laughed and said "you must be confusing me with one of those contractors who doesn't know the law and how to get paid. You may feel it took too long even though you caused the delay with the material and stopped me from starting our next job, but I can assure you, your feelings have nothing to do with a contract. I'll give you 24 hours to look up the lien process, talk to your "lawyer" so he can open your eyes and educate you on the futility of what you are considering, and then I will call you to collect the balance. If you decide to do the right thing and pay the balance, I will stop by and collect it, shake your hand, and we'll part friends like we should. If you decide not to, well then, you'll at least know what's coming your way, the increased costs you will bear as a result, and how long this will be a part of your life in a negative way. But you can't say you weren't forewarned"...

I would also tell him how silly his post will look on Angies list juxtaposed against 60 other POSITIVE ones and that he is the first one to not pay...

Then tell him "I hope your track record is as good as mine, as the deposition process sucks and is quite revealing"...

He'll find out how much lien's suck when he goes to get a loan or refinance...

Last edited by KAP; 03-16-2014 at 08:49 PM.
KAP is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to KAP For This Useful Post:
heavy_d (03-17-2014)
Old 03-16-2014, 08:52 PM   #32
Pro
 
huggytree's Avatar
 
Trade: plumber
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 819
Rewards Points: 1,418

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


don't hire a lawyer yet

find a lien service and get advice from them

lien the house....if he's real smart he will realize a lien means nothing..in 2 years it ends and its all good for him....

it MAY Fp his credit rating...let him know that...you still may get your $$ when he sells his house...depends on the title company from what ive been told...

id consider if you want to forclose on his house...some have told me $5k, some $10k

I am the type who'd spend $5k to foreclose to get $4k back.....if his mortgage is underwater you wont receive anything...banks get paid first.

sounds like he may have planned this ahead of time and done this to others...I doubt your the first....these people exist......

the best thing you could have done is saw it coming...im sure there were signs....id recommend researching customers in the future..here in WI there's a website where I can search any customer for lawsuits and even speeding tickets....ive avoided builders because of it

its going to happen eventually.....ive avoided it, but I can tell I have another bad prime contractor(new guy) that isn't going to pay me right now.....ill be doing the threats and the liens in a week or 2.....same song and dance I do 1x-2x a year with new GC's who don't want to pay

with homeowners I always need payment the day the job is complete....I don't leave the house w/o a check........I give homeowners 0 credit
huggytree is offline  
Old 03-16-2014, 08:55 PM   #33
Pro
 
huggytree's Avatar
 
Trade: plumber
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 819
Rewards Points: 1,418

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


the Angies list thing always gets to me....anyone can complain about you...no arbitrator....they don't even need to be a customer...they could make the whole thing up...good luck trying to get it off....same with the BBB.......I get 1 bad customer a year who hates me.....all ways a nut.....last one wrote a letter saying God will judge me some day...all because I finished a bit early, but still wanted full contract price...

don't let this guy get away with it.....have a hard core attitude and you will win...I always have
huggytree is offline  
Old 03-16-2014, 10:47 PM   #34
Pro
 
instock's Avatar
 
Trade: Handyman
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 305
Rewards Points: 525

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


I had to change the shutoff valves and install a washing machine the other day. I don't do much soldering, so I hired a plumber from Angie's List. He changed the valves, but he was surely not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I had to read the washing machine instructions to him because he couldn't figure it out. Then I got called back the next day because the water pressure was low. I had to go back over and open the main shutoff all the way. I got called again the next day because the water was not hot enough. I went over yet again and deduced that he must have kicked the thermostat on the hot water heater while he was working in that corner. While I was checking out the hot water heater, I noticed that he left his flashlight and measuring tape and some bits on top of it. So I called him back and arranged for him to pick up that crap.

Will any of that show up when I rate him on Angie's List? I don't think so. He was a nice guy with a wife and a kid. I have no reason to beat the guy up. I wish him the best.

Have you noticed every contractor on Angie's List has an A rating? It's a giant love fest.
instock is offline  
Old 03-17-2014, 02:39 PM   #35
Pro
 
AJAX's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Central, MN
Posts: 238
Rewards Points: 150

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


Listen to Kent, he knows what he's talking about.

I just went through this. You reason with them and yourself about it. Bottom line is to force it legally. Take him to conciliation court and file the lien! If you have never been it can be very nerve racking at first, but it will be a good lesson for you for the future.

In my situation, I liened knowing they needed to sell the house. Tried reasoning with them over and over. It was a waste of time, not that every situation is. Ends up he sued me for slander of title. There was change orders everyday, sometimes multiple. My contract was written to have signed change orders and full payment on them before work on that change order began. It was a waste of my time to make that happen every day, it was holding up the job, so I just billed at the end of each week. And that's how he got me. He knew that I did not follow my contact to a T. My lawyer explained it to me like this. By the time you get in front of a judge (you will need a lawyer if you go to district court as you can't rep yourself of your inc.) he is going to ask if I followed my contract and I will be forced to say no. His response is going to be why should your client be forced to uphold the contract when you did not. They don't care about the "story", just gimme the facts!

Whatever is in your contract, you have to follow to the letter. Or, change the original document.

Make sure you know and follow your contract, if there is any variation it can drag out in the courts forever. Talk to a lawyer or two, first hour is usually free. They can look over your situation and advise you. But, don't take there word verbatim, not many know real-estate construction laws.

Fortunately I dragged it out for a year and cost him alot in attorney fees not to mention holding costs on the house. We settled out of court for about a 1/3rd what was owed. I knew my attorney...cost me $500.
__________________
Governments are instituted among men, deriving there just powers from the consent of the governed...

Declaration of Independence

Last edited by AJAX; 03-17-2014 at 02:41 PM.
AJAX is offline  
Old 03-17-2014, 06:40 PM   #36
The Duke
 
Kent Whitten's Avatar
 
Trade: Cabinet Maker
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Portland, Maine
Posts: 14,746
Rewards Points: 2,040

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AJAX View Post
Listen to Kent, he knows what he's talking about.
Yeah!

One last thing, now that you mention it, if you want to drown him, use his lawyer for calls, information, whatever....and the other guy gets charged

I did this once, and I really hated to do it because the client was not aware of what really was going on. I wasn't getting paid, and that was their leverage, but I drowned them in lawyer fees. Mine? Zero. Don't get all nervous and rush right out and get a lawyer. It's small claims and with some reading and research, you got this.

As long as you followed your contract.

And it's not Jerry.
__________________
If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place ~Lao Tzu

SalmonFallsCabinetry.com

Salmon Falls Cabinetry on Facebook
Kent Whitten is offline  
Old 03-17-2014, 07:30 PM   #37
Pro
 
MTN REMODEL LLC's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodel and new build Colorado @ 7651 FT
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,193
Rewards Points: 1,428

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AJAX View Post
Listen to Kent, he knows what he's talking about.

I just went through this. You reason with them and yourself about it. Bottom line is to force it legally. Take him to conciliation court and file the lien! If you have never been it can be very nerve racking at first, but it will be a good lesson for you for the future.

In my situation, I liened knowing they needed to sell the house. Tried reasoning with them over and over. It was a waste of time, not that every situation is. Ends up he sued me for slander of title. There was change orders everyday, sometimes multiple. My contract was written to have signed change orders and full payment on them before work on that change order began. It was a waste of my time to make that happen every day, it was holding up the job, so I just billed at the end of each week. And that's how he got me. He knew that I did not follow my contact to a T. My lawyer explained it to me like this. By the time you get in front of a judge (you will need a lawyer if you go to district court as you can't rep yourself of your inc.) he is going to ask if I followed my contract and I will be forced to say no. His response is going to be why should your client be forced to uphold the contract when you did not. They don't care about the "story", just gimme the facts!

Whatever is in your contract, you have to follow to the letter. Or, change the original document.

Make sure you know and follow your contract, if there is any variation it can drag out in the courts forever. Talk to a lawyer or two, first hour is usually free. They can look over your situation and advise you. But, don't take there word verbatim, not many know real-estate construction laws.

Fortunately I dragged it out for a year and cost him alot in attorney fees not to mention holding costs on the house. We settled out of court for about a 1/3rd what was owed. I knew my attorney...cost me $500.
AJAX is so correct... AND THAT IS WHY WE HAVE WELL WRITTEN CONTRACTS....

And, you have some great advice offered above by most everyone.

Don't be foolish with costs based on anger, .... take the advice above that can be executed inexpensively.... but don't fold like a limp d1ck.

Good luck
__________________
Never stop learning (xcep fer speling en typeing)
MTN REMODEL LLC is offline  
Old 03-18-2014, 03:31 PM   #38
Pro
 
GCTony's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 389
Rewards Points: 494

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


Interesting that so many have mentioned lien first, small claims second. Liens don't get you paid but small claims court does. It's only happened to us twice. Once the guy ran out of money. We ended up in court and the judge set up payments with interest. It was like $50 per month for 4 years. The other. a letter from our lawyers was enough to scare him into paying us.
GCTony is offline  
Old 03-18-2014, 03:36 PM   #39
GC/carpenter
 
Calidecks's Avatar
 
Trade: Decking, Railing, Carpenter/General Contractor
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Anaheim Hills, California (OC)
Posts: 40,012
Rewards Points: 10,098

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


Yes but the lien process is time sensitive. So is a lawsuit but I believe the lien has a shorter amount of time to get filed.
Calidecks is online now  
Old 03-18-2014, 03:46 PM   #40
Pro
 
GCTony's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 389
Rewards Points: 494

Re: The One Who Doesn't Want To Pay.


Yep, you have 90 days from the time you did the work to file a claim with the circuit court.

Good info for Washington State but looks like it's very similar to what is done here in Virginia

http://www.builderscounsel.com/2010/...in-washington/

Advertisement


Last edited by GCTony; 03-18-2014 at 03:51 PM.
GCTony is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to GCTony For This Useful Post:
Calidecks (03-18-2014)


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?